Starting university and moving into your own place is an incredibly exciting time, but leaving home is never easy as you will have to fend for yourself, splitting utility bills and possibly learn a new city. Many students suffer from homesickness, particularly at the beginning of the year and during the exam period, when the pressure is high.
Personalise your uni bedroom
When you move into uni halls, you’re likely to spend far more time in your bedroom than you ever would at home. At university, your bedroom isn’t just where you sleep and chill-out, it’s also likely to be your study space and even, in some halls, your social space too. Since you’ll likely be spending a lot of time in there, it’s important to get it decorated and personalised.
Unless you’ve been lucky enough to land yourself with super luxury accommodation, we’re guessing that the base decoration of your uni bedroom is going to be a drab and functional. To help you with making it your own, it’s worth trying to find out in advance what the space looks like. This will allow you to have a better idea of things like what colours will go best and what will fit in the space.
Important homey features you should bring to your uni bedrooms are:
- Duvet covers and pillows – you could either buy new ones to match your new room, or bring some from home for that extra bit of comfort
- Photos – bring pictures of family, friends and pets with you to have on display, so that you can see them any time
- Posters and wall-hangings – a great way to personalise your space is through what you choose to have on display
- Lamps – some institutional lighting can be harsh; bringing a couple of lamps could help to create a calming zone
- Childhood favourites – yes, you’re an adult now, but don’t tell us that it wouldn’t help you to feel less homesick if you had a favourite toy from childhood to squeeze (if you keep them hidden in a drawer, none of your flat mates need ever know!)
Collaborate in communal areas
If you want to feel as at-home as possible in your halls, it is well worth getting together with your housemates to decide on what you could collectively do to make your communal areas feel homier. This could be as simple as some:
- Motivational wall-art – ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ is applicable to a lot of situations you’ll face during your time at university
- Houseplants – a couple of low-maintenance houseplants will keep your space feeling fresh and homely without the faff of keeping them watered
- Flags – displaying a flag for each nationality in the house can be a really nice way to celebrate the diversity in your accommodation
- Throws and cushions on the sofa – institutional sofas are often lacking in comfort-factor, but a few cushions and a throw can quickly correct that.
Just ensure that you get everybody on board and involved if you begin decorating any communal areas, otherwise you could accidentally create friction. It’s also essential that you take care not to cover any important safety notices (such as fire protocols) put up by your university accommodation, as they must always be displayed to prevent incidents.
Use things which remind you of home
If you think you might get homesick when you move into halls, bringing things with you from home will help you settle in better, study better and sleep better. Consider bringing:
- Your favourite mug – slurping tea or coffee from your usual mug is a small but meaningful touch which can help you to feel instantly more at home
- The washing powder your parents buy – unless you already know about the power of scents, you’ll be surprised by how much you appreciate this one
- A cushion from your lounge – only take this with your parents’ permission, but this can be a nice way to bring something bigger from home with you
- Resources for your at-home hobbies – whether it’s crochet, stamp-collecting or DJing, keeping up with your at-home hobbies will help make your accommodation feel like home much more quickly
Final touches to our guide
So, although moving out might be daunting at first, we hope that those tips will help you to make your student accommodation feel as at home as possible. Just remember to use damage-free hanging methods when putting anything on the walls – if you want to get your deposit back, stay well away from Blu-Tack, tape or nails.